Despite restrictions in place to contain the COVID-19 spread, the large crowd outside the counting center in Hathras violated COVID-19 regulations.
Some polling stations violated COVID-19 laws during the counting of Uttar Pradesh's Panchayat elections. Despite the state-wide curfew, residents flocked to the centers and maintained no social distance, with some even walking around without masks. In Hathras, a considerable crowd defied COVID-19 protocols. The Uttar Pradesh police used lathi-charge to keep the group under control. On May 2, 2021, the Superintendent of Police, Hathras, MG of Hathras block, had instructed the agents and supporters in the counting centers to adhere to COVID-19 rules.
India News reports the State Election Commission (SEC) stated that candidates and their agents could only join the counting centers if they had received a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours before counting or had completed the second vaccine dose. According to the SEC, a doctor will be present at each counting center with medicines for people showing symptoms of COVID-19.
After receiving assurance from the SEC that the COVID-19 protocols would be followed at all 829 counting centers, the Supreme Court declined to suspend the counting process on May 1. During a separate urgent hearing, Justices A M Khanwilkar and Hrishikesh Roy issued the order. The vast crowd outside the Hathras counting center, on the other hand, defied all COVID-19 rules.
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